HOBART | After 30 years giving permanents and coloring hair, Teresa Lake's body told her it was time for a change.
Lake now uses only organic products in Artiste Organic Salon and Spa, her new salon on Main Street in Hobart. Organic hair care products are those made solely with natural plant ingredients.
"I became allergic to everything I had been using," Lake said. "I had bumps on my head, swollen fingers. Using bleach and color made my eyes water. It bothered my breathing and my skin. I'd choke and gasp on the fumes."
Another health condition contributed to her decision to change her salon's location.
Lake was operating Victorian Wedding Salon in Valparaiso when her 13–year–old son, Reece, was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. It was the third salon she had owned in her three decades in the beauty business.
"He was missing tons of schools and he needed me to be close to home to pick him up from school when he was sick," Lake said. "I decided I had to move closer so I could be right there for him."
The two health–related factors came together in her decision to open Artiste Organic in her hometown.
"It just made sense," she said. "People seem to think so, too. Many of my old clients are coming here and new ones are walking in the door every day."
She found the 2,200–square–foot location about a year ago, but it took an investment of about $5,000 and more than six months of renovations to prepare it for opening. She and her husband, Rick, did as much of the work as they could. They hired professionals to do the rest.
"It took a lot longer than we expected," Lake said. "We did it all. We had new plumbing and fixtures put in. We painted the whole place, even the tin ceiling in the foyer, and had new flooring installed. We paid as we went so we didn't have to take a loan or anything."
The salon's all organic product lines have been a big hit, she said.
"Some of my older clients have conditions like psoriasis and eczema," Lake said. "The organic products don't bother them as much. They love it because the products don't cause health problems for them or for me. Everyone is into organics now days."
Lake has four independent contractors, two masseuses and two hair dresser/cosmetologists, working at her shop. The location has a kitchen and several rooms that allow Lake to host events, such as Ladies' Days Out, beauty parties, plus holiday–themed and other special occasions. Many of the events help Lake Raise funds for charity.
One of the facial products lines used in the salon, Peace, also contributes a percentage of it proceeds to juvenile diabetes research, she said.
Lake says she wouldn't want to do anything else.
"I love it," she said. "II love helping my clients. I love going to hair shows and learning about new styles and new products, and seeking out the ones that will be the best for them. I love the whole business."
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